Florida Probate, Trust & Guardianship Litigation

Biography of Jeffrey Skatoff

Mr. Skatoff has practiced exclusively in the areas of probate, estate litigation, trust litigation, guardianship litigation, estate planning, and taxation, for over 30 years.  

Based on this breadth of experience, Mr. Skatoff now focuses his practice on litigation of inheritance disputes, be they probate, trust, guardianship or similar types of litigation. 

In the estate planning area, Mr. Skatoff has prepared estate plans of all complexities, for young families with minor children, to owners of large, complex, multistate businesses, including those with international aspects.

In the Florida probate administration area, Mr. Skatoff has handled over 500 probate administrations, from simple estates to very large and complex taxable estates, often with assets throughout the globe.

Mr. Skatoff has also represented personal representatives and beneficiaries in probate litigation and trust litigation.  Some of these litigated areas include will contests, trust construction and reformation, elective share litigation, creditor claims against estates, and estate tax apportionment cases.

Mr. Skatoff is the Publisher of Probatestars, the largest source of probate, estate planning, trust, and guardianship information on the web in the English speaking world.

Mr. Skatoff has been AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell for over 15 years.

Mr. Skatoff is also sought after as an expert witness for written opinions, advice, and court testimony.  For example, he has been recognized as an expert in guardianship law in the Southern District of Florida by a Federal District Court judge.  His expert opinions have also been accepted on issues such as appropriate trustee fees and attorney fees.  Mr. Skatoff has also mediated several dozen trust and estate matters. 

Oral Argument at 5th District Court of Appeals

Florida Probate Attorney Jeffrey Skatoff Arguing in Court

Jeffrey Skatoff

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AV Rated


Duke University, BA (Chemistry), 1988.
Washington University School of Law, JD, 1991. Associate Editor, Washington University Law Quarterly. Order of Coif (Top 10% + Faculty Approval). American Jurisprudence Award.
Georgetown University, LLM (Taxation), 1996. Graduated With Distinction (Top 10%).



Professional Experience

United States Department of Justice, Tax Division.  (1991 – 1995).  Mr. Skatoff started his career in 1991 as a trial attorney in the Honors Program of the Tax Division at the Department of Justice, in Washington DC.  Mr. Skatoff litigated complex tax cases across the country on behalf of the federal government. In 1993, Mr. Skatoff was awarded the Outstanding Attorney Award, for superior performance.  Mr. Skatoff was promoted to senior trial attorney in record time for a trial attorney in the Honors Program, as a result of a special dispensation by the Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division, Shirley D. Peterson.

Private Practice.  (1995 – 2005).  Mr. Skatoff left government service in 1995 and spent time at several large law firms in Washington, DC, including Bryan Cave and Dow, Lohnes & Albertson, practicing in the areas of estate planning, taxation, tax litigation, and probate.   Mr. Skatoff also worked during that time for Wells Fargo, where he developed business succession plans for some of the largest family owned businesses on the East Coast.

Clark Skatoff, PA and Skatoff, PA.  (2006 – Present).  Mr. Skatoff founded the law firm of Clark Skatoff PA in 2006, with Richard Clark.  At its peak, the firm had 14 employees working for Mr. Skatoff, including five practicing attorneys.  The firm’s attorneys practiced exclusively in the areas of estate planning, probate administration, probate and trust litigation, taxation, and guardianship litigation.  Mr. Skatoff handled cases throughout the State of Florida, at the trial and appellate level, and also tried cases in California and Maryland.  Mr. Skatoff currently practices law in the firm of Skatoff, PA, located in Palm Beach Gardens, and representing clients throughout the State of Florida.


Media Appearances

Mr. Skatoff has been an on-air legal commentator on the topics of probate litigation and estate planning, as well as a commentator in print and web media.

Mr. Skatoff appeared on CNN’s Nancy Grace program about two dozen times on probate and guardianship issues.

Mr. Skatoff has been quoted in Kiplinger’s on the issue of power of attorney abuse.

Mr. Skatoff has appeared on WPBF, Channel 25 on the issue of what happens to your bills when you die.  See Related Article.

Mr. Skatoff has been quoted in the Northern Trust Magazine on Wealth Transfer Fundamentals.

Mr. Skatoff has been quoted in the Palm Beach Post on tax issues surrounding the sale of the Miami Dolphins.

Mr. Skatoff has also been quoted in the Wall Street Journal on Estate Planning for Second Marriages.


Articles & Publications

Asset Protection Planning for Florida Residents Under the New Bankruptcy Act
Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar, Fall 2005 Magazine
View PDF

Will and Trust Drafting for Florida Attorneys
National Business Institute Seminar, Fall 2005
View PDF


Reported Cases

Boren v. Rogers,  243 So.3d 448 (5th DCA 2018)

Cook v. Cook, (4th DCA 2018)

Woodward v Woodward, 204 So.3d 582 (4th DCA 2016)

Weiser v Weiser, 137 So.3d 545 (4th DCA 2014)

Mariani v Mariani, 125 So.3d 222 (4th DCA 2013)

MacIntyre v. Wedell, 12 So.3d 273 (4th DCA 2009)

IU Internatonal v. US, 77 AFTR 2d 96-696 (34 Fed Cl 767)

Gump v. US, 76 AFTR 2d 95-8112

Clayton v. US, 76 AFTR 2d 95-5197 (33 Fed Cl 628)

Harris v. US , 75 AFTR 2d 95-2228 (33 Fed Cl 470)

Fisher v. US, 71 AFTR 2d 93-2184 (28 Fed. Cl. 88)


Bar Admissions

Active in Florida.

Jeffrey Skatoff, his wife, and his four children